This was a race I was hoping to do well in, and I found that I had a number of teammates registered in my category. Several of the team were wondering if they would get up the climb, and I was among them. It isn’t a huge climb and it stairsteps up, giving you a chance to recover. But still, if the little climber types decide to hit it hard, all of us big guys tend to get dropped. This time, none of the climbers went all out. I made it over on the tail end of the group and was never in danger of getting dropped again. I felt that the pace was not very race like, and on occasion, I went to the front to push it a bit. However, when I did that, someone would attack and I would have to chase them down. So, I just sat in and waited for the finish.
I think there were about 25 of us left in the lead group as we approached the last 1 K. Our strategy had been for me to lead out Miles and Mike for the sprint, and I would have loved to do that, but I had gotten myself sort of trapped in the middle of the pack at that point. I wanted to move up, but so did everyone else, and I am not the greatest yet at doing that. As we came up to the 200M line, the group was hesitating and I really wanted to go. At about 150 – 175 M they went and I tried to as well. Still, some guy pulled right in front of me and I had to sit back down and wait a moment to restart my sprint. Then I was off and the way was clear. We were bearing down on the finish line and I saw a photographer crouched in the road, directly in my line. I couldn’t tell how far the line was and I was still about 5M back from the lead at that point. I felt that the guy in the road had his lens focused on the leaders who were on the other side of the road. I really thought that I was going to crash into him, and my fear made me yell at him. Unfortunately, the heat of the moment caused me to yell at him profanely. Fortunately, I did get his attention and he jumped out of the way just in time as I was cruising for the line at top speed. I was moving up in the group quickly, but because of the confusion with the photographer, I couldn’t tell where I crossed the line. I was embarrassed by my profanity, but it just came out. The results did not get posted for quite a while and the other guys were ready to leave. I agreed, in part out of my embarrassment.
This morning I saw the results. Disqualified. I e-mailed the promoter and apologized for my poor language. I also apologize to the team. I will work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The promoter was very kind, and he informed me that if I could have maintained decorum, I finished 4th! Oh well.